Just 25% of respondents from a recent survey of the IBM SHARE user group were collecting data from social media networks for business purposes, though many more are apparently planning to do so in the near future.
The study, which was performed by Unisphere Research and sponsored by Marist University and Big Blue itself, discovered that more than half of the European and North American companies surveyed planned to invest more in business intelligence tools related to social media within the next year or two.
"Social media networks and peer groups are creating large data sets that are now enabling companies and organisations to gain competitive advantage and improve performance. These data sets provide important insights into customer behaviour, brand reputation, and the overall customer experience," the researchers said in a summary.
The adoption pattern for the technology forms a "classic bell curve," they added, with companies running the gamut between early adopters and laggards.
SaaS and cloud-based social media tools will likely see slower uptake, the study found. While just 15% of respondents indicated they planned to adopt such systems in the next year, that number should grow noticeably over the next two to three years.
The relative youth of the technologies involved made it difficult to identify conclusive trends in data volume, hosting and other areas, according to the researchers. That's a pattern that has been seen before, and one that has contributed to ongoing uncertainty in some parts of the cloud market in particular.